The Mercury News posted a story headlined "Cuts to food stamps hitting millions of Californians to start Friday". Curious to find out how big the cuts would be to an already over-bloated benefits program, I found the article to be a veritible "dog's breakfast" of contradictory numbers.
The first numbers were for a family of four, who will "receive $632, or $36 less per month in federal food assistance." So, said family were getting $668 a month to feed themselves, and $36 represents about a 5.4% reduction in money.
The article then immediately follows with "That is the equivalent of losing roughly 21 individual meals per month." Huh? Assuming a 30-day month, and three meals a day, that'd be 90 meals per person, per month. For a family of four, they'd consume 360 meals. If you accept the rediculous notion that the family simply wouldn't eat a meal if it wasn't "fully funded," they'd be short 19.44 meals, not 21. And, in reality, the two kids in this family would likely be eating free or deeply subsidized breakfasts and lunches at school, but that doesn't fit with the narritive so it wasn't mentioned to the readers.
A few paragraphs later and the article asserts that the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted the food stamp program by 13.6%, but that boost is now expiring. But wait, the actual reduction is only 5.4%; where's the other 8.2%? The article doesn't say.
This must be the "new math" I keep hearing so much about.